23 Jun 2015

APC Senators resolve differences

Efforts by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reconcile the warring factions in the Senate resulting from the elections of the Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu, finally yielded positive results monday when the 59 senators of the party resolved to set aside their differences and work together.

Throughout Monday, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, held a series of peace meetings to reach an agreement on the sharing of the outstanding principal offices in the federal legislature.

The reconciliatory meetings chaired by Oyegun saw the leadership of the feuding lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives take turns to consult on how to resolve the impasse.

But whilst peace was finally brokered among APC senators last night, the same could not be said of the party’s lawmakers in the House, as no major breakthrough was made by the leadership of the ruling party to reconcile the factions in the lower chamber.

A source privy to the meeting among the senators said the meeting with Oyegun, Saraki, Senator Ahmed Lawan, and other APC senators recorded some progress, as both groups loyal to Saraki and Lawan agreed with the party over the zoning of the remaining principal offices in the Senate.
“I am not privy to the details of the meeting, but I think the Senate President has resolved his differences with the party. What was still in contention was not which zones the positions should go to, but who will emerge from the zones to occupy the posts,” a source close to the Senate President said.
At the meeting, which stretched into the night, the 59 senators of the APC, who were present, finally set aside their differences and resolved to work together for the unity of the party.

They also agreed that since no decision had been taken on who should occupy the post of Senate Leader, no announcement would be made today when the Senate resumes from its two-week recess.

The party source said that the announcement on all the outstanding leadership positions would be made known on the floor of the upper chamber after the North-east caucus decides on who should represent their zone as Senate Leader.

As it stands, the two major contenders for the post are Senators Lawan and Ali Ndume.

In the House, however, it was gathered from a highly reliable source that the meeting failed to resolve the disagreement over the allocation of the office of the House Majority Leader.

While the group loyal to one of the key actors, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, insisted that the position of Majority Leader should be given to him, the opposing camp led by the House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, pushed forward the argument that such a move would leave some zones with no principal office in the lower chamber.

They said that it would amount to asking for too much for the South-west zone, which already has the post of Deputy Speaker, to also occupy the Majority Leader’s post.

It was learnt that all efforts to make the Gbajabiamila group, dominated by lawmakers and leaders from the South-west, to reconsider their stand failed.

According to the source, both sides were uncompromising, thereby forcing the peace meeting to be adjourned.

Also, efforts by the party’s leaders to get the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuff Lasun, to resign to pave the way for Gbajabiamila’s emergence hit a brick wall, as he told them that he was elected to the post based on his popularity in the House.

Even attempts by the National Leader of the APC Bola Tinubu and Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of Lasun’s home state, Osun, to persuade him to step down were rebuffed by the lawmaker.

Gbajabiamila and Lawan had respectively emerged the consensus candidates of the party for both Speaker and Senate Presidency posts through a straw poll, but were outsmarted and beaten during the elections in the legislature by Saraki and Dogara.

Following the crisis that ensued after the elections, Oyegun had assured Nigerians that the party was working hard to resolve the crisis to pave the way for the fulfillment of its campaign promises to Nigerians.  

Credit: ThisDay

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